La Tarte aux Figues de Monsieur Zen

I am a self-confessed fig freak to the point i count the days every year until i’m able to put my hands on these babies. Today mes amis, was my lucky day at the market.

It must be the childhood memories associated with figs that makes me love them so much. Memories that take me back to the south of France. I was looking for the precious fruit the day i got 37 bee stings at a summer camp. I found a bee nest instead. Another time i was busy experimenting with figs and firecrackers when my brother got the genius idea to set my butt on fire just for fun. I made a legendary-record-shattering run to the lake that day.

Figs were also on the kitchen table as i was struggling to explain to my father why i got temporarily ejected from boarding school. But no, no… couldn’t touch those. It would have been too risky to reach-out and pop one of these babies in the midst of so much drama. They could have been bruised or worse.. smashed! Mmm.. but they looked plum and ripe though, and… p..purple like my hematomas. Gosh.. I am traumatized!! Is there a psychiatrist in the room? I need to lay down on a sofa.. Anyone!?.. Help!!..Please?

Then, there was the smell of rosemary in the air, the fruit tarts my grandmother would make with a layer of sweet whipped mascarpone flavored with lemon zest underneath the fresh berries, and the honey we would pick-up from the guy who looked like an astronaut in his spacesuit. He would always scare the crap out of me, Monsieur Paul. He would tell me he could moonwalk like Michael Jackson. Freak!!

In the grand scheme of things and particulary on my plate, everything eventually finds its place.

I don’t know if it’s my butt on fire or the touch of the cool lake that inspired this dessert but all these traumatizing experiences osmosed -in some weird way- and gave birth to this fig tart. The rosemary went into the tart dough, the bees made the honey, the honey was harvested by a Monsieur Paul somewhere, my Grandma’s zesty mascarpone remained the same, and the precious ripe figs were placed on top and finished off with a drizzle of that warm honey flavored with a sprig of fresh rosemary, et voila!

Fresh Fig Tart w/ Mascarpone & Rosemary
(serves 6)

For the rosemary sweet tart dough:

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (125 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups (255 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 tablespoons (120 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped

For the tart:

  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 15 to 20 ripe figs, sliced
  • 1/4 cup good-quality honey
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary

_____________

  • Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, flour, and salt into a bowl.
  • Place the butter in a food processor and process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Scatter the flour mixture and the rosemary over the butter, add the egg, and process just until the dough forms a mass; do not overmix. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Let the dough soften a little (this recipe makes enough dough for 2 tarts). Lightly butter a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.

  • Dust a work surface and roll out the dough. Press the dough into the pan and roll the pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough. Prick the bottom of the tart shells all over with a fork. Chill the tart for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 325′F. Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake the tart shell for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking for 10 minutes or until evenly golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

  • Whisk together the mascarpone, the heavy cream, the confectioners’ sugar, and the lemon zest in a medium bowl until thick and smooth. Spoon the mascarpone mixture evenly on the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Arrange the fresh figs on top. In a small saucepan, heat up the honey with the sprig of rosemary and drizzle over the figs. Enjoy!
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  • RecipeGirl

    I really would like to enjoy figs. As a child, my Swedish grandmother forced fig cookies on me that were, well…disgusting. I haven’t exactly gotten over that.

    I’m willing though to give them another shot as an adult!

  • breadpitt

    those figue tart are gorgeou!!!! but its hard to get it in malaysia and it aint cheap too.

  • Keeneye

    I’m so irate with you.

    I have been trying to get my hands on some fresh figs for eons!!!

    If you know of a place that will overnight mail fresh figs, PLEASE let me know.

    keeneye @ gmail dot calm

  • Zen Chef

    Keeneye, you can find them at http://www.diamondorganics.com.
    It’s a company based in California that specializes in organic produce. They do home delivery nationwide. Give it a try.

  • Clumbsy Cookie

    Poor Zen chef with all those troubled memories! Oh the figs! I love what you did with the pastry with the rosemary. And are those clafoutis behing it as well? Were you having a baking party and didn’t invite?
    Anyway the tart looks gorgeous, but best way to eat figs is straigh from my oncle’s trees on his backyard!:)

  • Kevin

    I just tried figs for the first time a while ago… These fir tarts look really good!

  • Chicken & Waffles

    Figs. Such a sensual fruit. Almost as arousing as bacon. And hello, my friend, I read your last post. Between the two, we’re talking orgy.

  • Manggy

    Ah, to cure you of your post-traumatic stress, I recommend a hefty dose of flooding. But with this beautiful tart it seems like you are treating yourself! :)
    Confession– I have NO idea what a fig tastes like. It could taste anything like dirt to bacon for all I know. There are (no exceptions) no such thing as fresh figs here, and I hear dried ones taste like paper so I’ve avoided those. Looks like something I may have to beat down your door to if I ever get to New York! :P

  • cakebrain

    A lot of Italian immigrants living in Vancouver grow fig trees in their back yards…and some in their front yards too! Now it seems everyone’s growing them
    ’cause we’ve figured out how honey-sweet delicious they can be fresh. Your fig tart looks fabulous!

  • Heather

    Gorgeous. That is exactly my kind dessert – savory and sweet battling it out in my mouth.

  • Jenny

    What a great post about your beloved figs. I have yet to create my own fig recipe, but your tart is looking pretty darn gorgeous! I think I’m motivated to get cooking figs!

  • AzAzura

    I have to let you know something, I have never tasted fresh figs in my entire 18 years of living, but i love dried figs, never seen fresh figs in Malaysia.
    Your tart looks gorgeous, gorgeous.Just thinking about the pastry dough with rosemary makes me hungry already. i will definitely try making this one day

  • Chicopea

    yummy!! what a beautiful dish and cute story, haven’t thought of figs outside a cheese platter.
    hope you won’t get flashbacks during july 4th fireworks and pass out;)

  • cook eat FRET

    one container of figs is to eat while you shop, the other is to take home. i love figs stuffed with goat cheese… well, really – i just love figs.

  • Colloquial Cook

    Ca aurait vraiment été très dommage si ça avait brûlé, mon petit loup. Elles sont splen-dides. ;-)
    Moi, toujours pas vu de belles figues au marché. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

  • Ann

    You got figs?! Where did you get figs? Why haven’t I got any figs? :-)

    As always, a mouth-watering post!

  • Anali

    I’ve never cooked or baked with fresh figs. This tart looks – well tantalizing!

    Oh and thanks for the twitter about tastespotting. It’s gone! So sad. Another dead sidebar blog. :(

  • Jack

    Figs rock. Must have figs.

  • Dirty Kitchen Secrets

    Crazy that figs bring back memories of childhood for me too! We have loads of fig trees around our mountain house back home and they are just spectacular! Looks deeelicious!

  • StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

    There is nothing like a just picked fresh, ripe fig! I love what you did with these. The tart looks just wonderful! Figs and mascarpone – pure heaven!

  • foodhuntress79

    Figs taste like a kiss. Only with lots of seeds.

  • cakewardrobe

    I’m allergic to figs but eat them anyway. :X Hopefully, if we ever meet, I won’t turn into Hitch. Do you ever cook for other than Mr and Mrs Big Bossman?

  • Dhanggit

    beautiful tart for a beautiful cause :-) this is so brilliant fig and rosemary, i cant wait to try this combination when fig season comes :-)

  • Elle

    Such a great cause!

    I L-O-V-E fresh figs. LOVE them. But I never do anything with them, I just eat them. This, I could definitely do. Gorgeous!

  • Ginny

    i love the idea for the rosemary crust…looks amazing! Delicious! :)

  • Cindy. Lo.

    I love figs too!
    But our memories about figs back then are slightly different,
    For me,
    I always had dried figs when I was a kid,
    It’s a very popular snack in Taiwan back then,
    Sweet, sour, and a hint of that fruity flavor,
    God I love figs!

  • Mochachocolata Rita

    oh gosh…arent these some noble figs…keep being a fig freak for a good cause, will ya

    i know some “ways” to cure your trauma ehm…it could involve figs or sofa…if you want it to be

    LOLLLL

  • Emiline

    Love it! :)

  • Big Boys Oven

    this awesome!!! rosemary tart 3with my favvourite fruit, The Fig!

  • emiglia

    Oh god… you make me laugh. Thanks, I needed that.

    I adore figs as well. And mascarpone. I can (and have) eaten it straight out of the container. I probably should not be sharing this with the world. Oh well.

    The tart looks lovely. Mr. Bossman is very very lucky.

  • waliz

    sorry to hear about your friend..hope she will get well soon…

    and for those figs…i always wanted to try out ths good looking fruit but couldnt find one in our supermarket…sigh!

  • Tartelette

    I miss my fig tree! or hanging down from it, can’t really tell!!
    The tarts are awesome!!

  • Flanboyant Eats

    ooh I might try this for one of my cooking lessons I give at a local cooking school. though it’s not so Latin, I could make it so! Looks great!